This spring, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology acquired an incredibly interesting map previously owned by Eli Lilly. The map had been languishing in his former home, the Eli and Ruth Allison Lilly House, now the IU President’s Indianapolis residence, since the 1930s.
What’s interesting to the GBL is that the map has been pinned to show sites of archaeological interest.
Eli Lilly was an avid supporter and protector of the pre-history of the state of Indiana. Many of his archaeological collections and correspondences already reside here at the GBL, and he was the one to help the Indiana Historical Society purchase Angel Mounds in the 1930s. Mr. Lilly also encouraged the career of Mr. Glenn A. Black.
Though we don’t have documental evidence to support the claim, we believe Mr. Lilly and Mr. Black worked together to create this map sometime in the 1930s and/or 1940s. The paper map is labelled “Map of Indiana” and was published by the National Map Company; though it is without a copyright date, it's most likely from the 1910s. The map has been mounted to a wooden frame, though is relatively light to move around and mount. It stands 73” tall by 49” wide.
Again, we don’t know exactly when Mr. Lilly began pinning the map nor when he stopped the act, but the map is still fascinating for the information it portrays. Each pin is color coded and the key to this code hangs on the upper left side. Excavated mounds, cemeteries, rock shelters are only a few of the identified features.
We hope to mount the map in our lobby sometime soon, though we need to acquire some sort of covering to protect the pins. I’d also like to do some basic cleaning of the map before display.
Our biggest thanks to the McRobbies for recognizing the need to show off this beautiful map and to Julie Floreancig in coordinating our efforts to bring the map to the GBL!